Pam and Cris from February, 2020 fly tying at the Campbell River Library. This year’s sessions are cancelled due to COVID-19. Don Daniels photo

Pam and Cris from February, 2020 fly tying at the Campbell River Library. This year’s sessions are cancelled due to COVID-19. Don Daniels photo

Stay at home options for fishing activity during cold and wet weather

By Don Daniels

In general, the fishing around Campbell River is very quiet except for a few dedicated anglers who get out and fish for salmon or strap on the waders and throw out a fly or lure in the local rivers looking for catch-and-release trout.

There are a few lakes close at hand to fish for trout from shore but access will be difficult after the snow hit the area. You can drive around Campbell River and see many boats, campers and trailers parked in the driveway and they will stay there for a few more months.

Because of the pandemic and travel restrictions, many people have stayed home for the first time in years because of travel restrictions to places like Mexico and other warm countries to escape winter on the Island. The local snowbirds will experience life at home during the cold weather. Not everyone owns a boat or even wants to salmon fish or even fish the river. An alternative will be to walk the local trails and observe nature along the river or shoreline along Discovery Passage.

Some of the elders, who like to fish, will get out and jig for the fun of it if the weather is pleasant. It’s a few hours out of the house.

On the last Sunday in January, the seawalk had a number of walkers enjoying the day and they were social distancing and wearing masks.

A number of fly anglers will be on the Campbell River in the upper pools and catch and release for trout is a great way to kill some time on the water and enjoy a day, just hoping for a tug that could be a steelhead. Over the past year, I am seeing more fly casters out and intruder fly patterns are becoming very popular. River levels are high and fishable but it will improve in a month or two.

At the end of January, I went through my fly tying materials and decided to make up 10 packages of feathers, dubbing and other materials and I was pleased to learn the packages were picked up by fly tyers. Heather Stratton at Night Time News mentioned that the bulk of people who picked up the fly goodies were ladies and a few men who want to take up fly tying as a fun hobby or something to do during the cold weather months, then go fishing.

At the moment, because of COVID-19, lessons will be cancelled for larger groups but I am planning to meet a few beginners at Frank James park on a nice day and help them out with basic techniques to start tying up basic patterns that work here in Campbell River. Then they can advance on their own.

You may want to check out local book stores or the library for fishing books written in past years! They are a great source of information.

For fishing information and comments you can email me at Mask on and maintain social distancing and have fun learning about fishing opportunities on local rivers and lakes and on the salt.